Should we retire to Charleston, SC?

Old Jun 19th, 2007, 06:37 PM
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Should we retire to Charleston, SC?

We currently live in Washington, DC, and are beginning to think about planning to retire somewhere warmer, closer to the ocean, charming (not that Washington isn't!), less expensive, with access to good healthcare and an airport. We're considering Mexico or another Latin American country, but I was born in Charleston and we love visiting. We would like to consider it too before looking outside the US. Has anyone retired there or is planning to do so? Advice?
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 07:07 PM
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Or Isle of Palms/Sullivan's; Beaufort; or Savannah?
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Old Nov 11th, 2007, 11:19 AM
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MM- did you ever get opinions on this one way or another? Hubbie and I are giving this town some thought as well as Savannah. I'd love to hear what you decided and how you decided.
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Old Nov 11th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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I would love to live in Charleston! We were married there a couple of years ago and it is one of my favorite places. I don't know anything about healthcare there but the proximity to the beach, the wonderful restaurants, and the charm of the city make it ideal to me.
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Old Nov 11th, 2007, 11:35 AM
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I,too would love to live in Charleston! We visit there a lot, and I never get tired of it.
I think it would be a great place to live.
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Old Nov 11th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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I love Charleston but to me it is quite pricey, especially housing (mind you I am taking about downtown). As you know it can be very humid in the summer.

It is beautiful and the historic district is wondeful but personally if I was to retire there I would like to be pretty wealthy.
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Old Nov 11th, 2007, 05:05 PM
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Thanks for all the comments! We have always loved Charleston--it has a great vibe and is a small city, but fairly sophisticated. We are checking it out with retirement in mind next week, over Thanksgiving and the week following. We're touring around with a real estate agent and I'll write a report when I get back about it, along with neighborhood descriptions. I was born in Charleston, but never lived there until college. However, I do know that health care access is excellent--the Medical University of South Carolina is there and is highly regarded, as are a number of other local hospitals. There is also a large contingency of retired military veterans there. Checking on several of the formula comparisons (city costs vs. city costs) that are available online, they universally project that the cost of living is about 30% less than in Washington, DC, where we live now. We have a feeling we'll be drawn downtown, which will be much more expensive than the average housing, but some of the lower costs noted were for taxes, food, restaurants/entertainment, gas, and utilities. As NoSocks says, the weather is very hot and humid in August and September, but when you can walk on the beach and even wade in the surf in late November (or even December sometimes!), we're willing to make the trade off. DC is pretty hot and humid too, but without the charm.

We went to Mexico last month and spent two weeks considering retirement there, touring real estate, etc., but were a bit turned off by the lack of infrastructure beyond the cities. That being said, we met the nicest people in the world and would highly recommend it for a vacation (I'm working on that trip report now).

Next year, we plan to visit Costa Rica for the same purpose. We are about five years away from retirement, so we have time to plan carefully.

I'd love to hear comments from others who are considering retirement to Charleston or other cities!
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 06:57 AM
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Love Sullivan's Island and think it is more local than IOP if that makes sense.

I would also look at I'ON which is a beautiful community and Daniel Island.

However, if I had the money, I'd buy downtown. There is nothing like having the convenience of walking to some of the best dining, shopping, and attractions in the US and particularly the southeast.
 
Old Nov 12th, 2007, 08:51 AM
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We are about five years away from retirement, so we have time to plan carefully.

So are we, so I'd love to hear your report! Interesting what you had to say about Mexico.
 
Old Nov 12th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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We just returned from a trip to Costa Rica - our second trip there - it's a great place and becoming really popular with Americans wanting to retire. We loved Charleston too. I can't think of any two more diverse spots - good luck with all your planning.
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 02:56 PM
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Ooh, tell us more about Costa Rica. I hope you are doing a trip report!
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 03:47 PM
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Costa Rica is our new love. We used to go to Hawaii, but were looking for something more affordable and that was easier for us to get to with no big time change. It only takes us about 3 hours to fly to Costa Rica from Houston. American dollars were accepted everywhere we went, English was widely spoken, food was affordable, and we saw some amazing natural beauty - nice beaches, waterfalls, amazing wildlife. There are people on the Latin American board that have been 10 or 15 times and keep going back. Seems like it really gets in your blood. Manuel Antonio is a really popular spot; most of the hotels and restaurants there were run by Americans. We really liked the Osa Peninsula - it's an area that is still undeveloped. We stayed at Bosque del Cabo and from our front porch, we saw capuchins, howlers, spider monkeys, and wild scarlet macaws and toucans. It's an amazing place.
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 05:33 PM
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Wow, that is amazing! Could you see yourself ever living there or having a second home there?
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 06:33 PM
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MM, my husband and I are a long way from retiring; we just bought our first house, so that's years down the road for us, but Latin America is becoming really popular for people who want to retire - Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Argentina all seem to be the most popular. There was a post on the Latin American board not too long ago that could give you some good information. It was called Should We Retire to Latin America or something along those lines. If you go to the LA board and do a search for Retire Latin America, it should come up for you. It had about 50 or 60 posts. I think it could give you some good information.
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 08:36 PM
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marysmommy, I am laughing now because I went to try to find that specific post, and you are the one who posted the question - LOL! There is a woman on the Latin America board who is currently building a house in Costa Rica. I believe it's suzie2 - if you post a specific question about retiring to CR over there, you will probably get better answers than what I can give you as a tourist. Good luck!
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